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on Royal Arch Trail

trail running
4 hours ago

On a beautiful Sunday, it was relatively calm and I had the trail to myself for large portions of the trip although traffic increased toward late morning. Packed snow after the final creek crossing and used traction for most of the ascent. Removed for the downclimbing rock scramble 'cause the rocks were clear then put them back on for the last portion to the Arch. Repeated on the descent.

When I go to Colorado, I get excited thinking about summiting this peak. I absolutely love this trail!

Great hike for sure. It is very strenuous especially if you go clockwise up Fern trail. Lots of elevation gain fast. Didn't need spikes for most of trail up until about the last 800 ft. in gain. Also needed them going back down for most of the trail. Great views in multiple spots. If you can, climb up to Bear peak actually and not just as it shows on the trail map. It is a bit of a scramble, but views are absolutely worth it.Just be careful especially with ice and snow. This was a favorite hike of mine now. I will go back in summer months when there is no snow to check it out then as well.

cool trail. beautiful hike.
November got icy, I used spikes to be safe and fast.

windy at top. amazing views.
nice cool hike

hiking
8 days ago

Climbed Friday 11/30/18 - Incredible views for such a quick and easy hike! I regularly climb high peaks but this time of year I enjoy the smaller mountains when the weather is cold and brutal up high. Just a dusting of snow low on the mountain but increases to several inches higher up. I'd recommend microspikes for extra traction. There's a very short scramble on the summit block where you have to make a few class 3 moves on snow covered rock so you'll appreciate the extra traction.

Did this one in September great fall colors
Trail wasn’t the most inspiring

been there twice last 2 weeks.
bring microspikes. it will make your hike safer and easier. by the end is windy, amazing views. few people hiking it in November.

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike! Yaktraxs are an absolute must as a majority of the trail is covered in ice. Make sure you take your time; we saw some people slip and fall and it’s easy to get hurt. Although they weren’t wearing spikes those that were were still using caution. It’s well worth it once you get to the top!

This was a great hike. It was so icy and hard to navigate. I will definitely go back when it gets warmer.

Windy but lovely! Hard packed snow and ice in spots but manageable in boots. Micro spikes are a nice-to-have but not a need-to-have. Started around 8:30am and didn’t see another person on the trail until half way back down (only 7 people total). Too cloudy for views but still a nice workout.

We did this hike on thanksgiving day and we were happy to see many faces on the trail. It’s definitely one of the most gorgeous hikes we’ve ever done. Even in late fall with ice on the ground, this trail had a lot of scenery to offer. I’d say it’s one of the best hikes to accurately represent Boulder, as you see diverse rock giants throughout. We are quite fit so it wasn’t terribly difficult, but let’s be honest the way down was INTENSE! Complete and utter focus is required to make it down those huge rock stair cases. Saw a family of deer and that made my day.
Will be back in the spring time to see all the wildflowers bloom. You have to see this place!

hiking
17 days ago

Some mud but not problematic. A little past halfway we put on micro spikes for slush/ice/packed snow. After that, just before the arch, we came to a stretch where we stopped to take the spikes off. There were more hikers up there today, Thanksgiving, without spikes than with, but we were happy we brought them and others commented they wish they had them. It would have been a slower hike with lots of slipping especially on the steep parts.

Wasn’t hard to follow the trail but use the All Trails app to stay on track as there are some ambiguous forks.

Parking lot is crazy busy with fees required in summer months. Restrooms are at ranger station at the parking lot trailhead. Busy at the lower section, lots of dogs.

Arch is cool and worth the trek, wouldn’t rave about the view - just the front range with former Rocky Flats site at center stage. Views of Boulder are nice as you come back to parking lot.

hiking
17 days ago

Nice Thanksgiving Day hike! As others have said, parts are icy and snowy particularly the last third or so. Since we didn’t have poles or yaktrax, we just had to slow down. Great views of Estes!

Very pretty. Slick in a lot of places. Was easier with spikes on.

18 days ago

Nice, well maintained trail very close to Estes Park. Nov 20 there were many slick icy spots, but nothing too treacherous. After the single water crossing (frozen), the steps get steeper, but not terrible. Gem Lake itself is unimpressive, but turn around to get a great view of Estes Park and the scenery beyond. Worth the hike!

hiking
19 days ago

Impossible without spikes. The trail is ice the entire way. On the plus side, the views are awesome, and we were the only people on what is a normally very busy trail.

walking
20 days ago

beautiful hike, but always very crowded. went with a horticulturist and learned a lot about the various medicinal native plants.

hiking
21 days ago

hiked this a couple years ago and remember really enjoying it. the scramble at the end of difficult if you're not comfortable with this kind of terrain. saw lots of people and dogs. I found it a tough trail to hike with a leashed dog. beautiful views!

hiking
21 days ago

11/03/18

beautiful peak, but tougher than expected. saw a lot of other hikes even though the weather wasn't great. I'd probably do it again though!

Amazing hike with good technical areas. Go in the snow if you really want a good challenge, but to get to the peak you’ll definitely want trail spikes. Lots of trails to link onto too. definitely one to add to the books!

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful hike! Snowing the day I did it, microspikes came in handy.

hiking
23 days ago

A great short hike. A little icy in places after snow.

Moderate hike, great views, a likelihood of seeing wildlife. Free!

hiking
27 days ago

Tough trail for beginners. Definately a good workout. This is also a very popular trail.

hiking
28 days ago

I hiked to Lily Mountain on 11/3 and walked through a winter wonderland! There was only one group ahead of me on the trail and I am grateful for their footprints! In the snow this was certainly a bit more work but still a beautiful trail! I would certainly recommend having micro spikes, especially once you get closer to the top. The scramble at the top was worth the whole hike. I would recommend leaving your backpack or whatever towards the bottom of the scramble so you aren't off-balance as you climb up. There are a few spots i lost the trail, but found my way back to it. Having the map on the app was helpful!

great hike! be sure to wear layers as it is extremely windy at the top by the lake. few patches of ice

hiking
29 days ago

great incline!!! rocky. some good views. only saw one person on trail while we were out

Beautiful trail with some nice views near the top. The Flatirons are really cool-looking peaks! The trail is really well maintained and manageable to walk on, even during the steeper points. Lots of switchbacks toward the top made the ascent easier than I anticipated. Only one very brief scrambly section.

We stopped at the very top of the second Flatiron (the trail seemed to peter out a few meters behind it) and came down via Bluebaird Trail. Passed lots of other people in the morning, but no congestion.

Short and steep, a good workout, with some good views. Not so crowded, but it was a weekday in early November.

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